Middlesex County News

Get Ready for Sunday's Annual Rubber Duck Race

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2016 Raritan River Festival and Duck Race. Credits: City of New Brunswick.
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2017 Raritan River Festival and Duck Race. Credits: Courtesy of the City of New Brunswick
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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The 2017 Raritan River Festival and Rubber Duck Race is coming to town this Sunday, Sept. 24, noon to 6 p.m. at Boyd Park, on the riverside of Route 18 and Commercial Avenue in New Brunswick.

Admission is free and parking is available at the Rutgers University Public Safety Parking Deck.

Now in its 38th year, the festival first came to light in 1980, in celebration of the city’s 300th anniversary, and featured headliner Pete Seeger.

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The event will feature food, live music, craft vendors and activities for children. Attendees will also be able to check out the New Brunswick City Farmer’s Market and a book sale offered by the city library.

There will also be a beer garden from Harvest Moon Cafe and Brewery.

Then there is the official cardboard canoe race, where participants will design and construct their own cardboard canoes, to see which ones are the fastest and can stay afloat in the water the longest.

Like every year, the event culminates with the rubber duck race at 5 p.m., where participants “adopt’ rubber ducks and watch them race along the Delaware and Raritan Canal.

Up to 5,000 ducks will be dropped from a giant, egg-shaped balloon suspended over the water, and participants will be able to watch the ducks float down the canal.

Anyone can ‘adopt’ a duck from the Beez Foundation, a group committed to fighting pediatric brain cancer, for $5, in advance or at the festival, and be entered to win. The grand prize will be a $1,000 American Express Gift Card, $500 for first prize and $250 for second prize.

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